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Lukashenko: Amur Oblast is a platform to boost ties with Russia's Far East

MINSK, 5 February (BelTA) - Amur Oblast is a platform for enhancing cooperation with the Far East region of Russia, President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko said as he met with Amur Oblast Governor Oleg Kozhemyako, BelTA has learnt.

“We would like to create a Belarusian base in Amur Oblast, through which we will work with the entire Far East region,” said the head of state. He noted that the demand for Belarusian goods in the Far East region is great. "I think it would be a good place for our economic expansion in the Far East," the President added.

Alexander Lukashenko said he was satisfied with the pace of development of relations between Belarus and Amur Oblast. “Although we do not have billions in trade turnover, the pace of cooperation development is very good. Not all relations should be measured in millions of dollars, agricultural machinery, supplies, although the economy is the basis of our relationship. The fact that we have created joint operations, started to manufacture the equipment necessary for the Far East is very important too." The head of state believes that close ties are the key to further steps in this direction.

The President underlined the readiness of the Belarusian side to establish joint production facilities in Amur Oblast, and enhance the localization. Alexander Lukashenko stressed that since 2010 Amur Oblast has assembled a lot of equipment from Belarusian spare parts. In particular, the joint assembly plants created with participation of Lidagroprommash and Gomselmash have assembled around 500 combine harvested from Belarusian knock-down kits. A plant to assemble tractors using MTZ parts was set up in Amur Oblast in 2012. The region also bought 28 BelAZ dump trucks with the payload of 130 tonnes last year. The Belarusian head of state did not rule out that the sides would agree on more joint manufacturing plants.

According to Alexander Lukashenko, Belarus has an extensive experience in the agro-industrial complex and is ready to share it with Amur Oblast, especially in what concerns cattle breeding and farm crop selection. The parties have already been cooperating on the latter one. Some of Belarusian soya and wheat types were tested on the Amur experimental ground in 2012. The tests proved high crop yield of the Belarusian agricultural plants.

The President expressed Belarus’ readiness to partake in the Amur Oblast infrastructure development. “We are ready to implement turn-key construction projects on your land. We do not need additional preferences. I believe we will surpass our rivals in quality and price,” the head of state said.

Alexander Lukashenko stressed that Belarus and Amur Oblast have many areas for cooperation development. “I believe we have done a lot, but this is only the foundation for our further collaboration,” the President noted.

In turn, Oleg Kozhemyako confirmed the oblast’s readiness to develop further cooperation with Belarus in agriculture, build up the supplies of Belarusian equipment, expand its lineup, set up service and dealer centers. Besides, Amur Oblast is interested in the Belarusian practices of developing dairy farms. The Governor invited Belarus to partake in the dairy farm turn-key construction projects in the oblast. Oleg Kozhemyako expressed confidence that the momentum in the bilateral relations would be preserved.